Cardboard toboggans battle for bragging rights
The “red rocket” gets caught in a collision between the “Jamaican bobsled” and a spaceship on the toboggan hill at Couchiching Golf and Country Club during Orillia’s Winter Active cardboard box toboggan races Sunday afternoon.
With a year’s worth of saved cardboard and $40 worth of duct tape on their side, Isabelle McMahon, 12, and her sister, Olivia, 11, showed up for Orillia’s annual cardboard box toboggan races on the weekend with their game faces and hockey helmets on.
Inspired by their dad and stepmom — both employees of CN Railway — their “red rocket” train car didn’t disappoint.
The McMahons blew by the competition on the hill Sunday afternoon at Couchiching Golf and Country Club, taking home the prize for farthest-travelling toboggan, while their stepsister, Ehmber Smith, 12, who helped them build the sled, cheered from the sidelines.
The frigid temperature (it felt like -25 C outside with the windchill) didn’t seem to deter the 17 entrants or crowd of 75 or so who bundled up to take in the popular event, part of the parks, recreation and culture department’s Winter Active weekend lineup.
“It’s always fun to see what the families will come up with from one year to the next,” said Roz Llewellyn, the city’s recreation program supervisor.
The Holmes family, fifth-time participants in the event, pulled out all the stops again this year, with the four boys riding down the hill on an elaborate “custom chopper” motorcycle.
“Their creativity and their design of their toboggan always impresses,” Llewellyn laughed. “I always think that they can’t top it, but their creativity and their imagination is limitless.”
As was the case last year, when they entered a gigantic cardboard moose, the Holmes took home the prize for largest sled.
“It’s a family event, so everyone can get involved,” Llewellyn said.
For the Solly-Coscos, the toboggan races were a battle of the sexes this year.
While stepsisters Kayden, 6, and Eve, 6, built their “rainbow racer” with their mom, Tara, brothers Evan, 7, and Jace, 3, had help from their dad, Jeff, on their “Jamaican bobsled.”
The city holds Winter Active, now in its fifth year, to remind people they don’t have to stay inside just because it’s cold.
“You still can go outside and enjoy our great surroundings and stay active during the winter months,” Llewellyn said.
Winter Active was scheduled for Jan. 18 to 20, but the city decided to hold off until the Family Day weekend due to a lack of snow and unsafe ice conditions for outdoor public skating.